A little over a month ago, the news broke that pop darling Ariana Grande was getting a divorce from her husband of two years, Dalton Gomez, and was also dating her Wicked co-star Ethan Slater…who also happened to be getting a divorce from his wife, Lily Jay, whom he’d been with for nearly 11 years and had recently had a son with. It didn’t take long for all kinds of rumors to start swirling.
Many of Grande’s fans were left scratching their heads, feeling totally blindsided and even upset by the singer’s actions. And it didn’t take long for Lily Jay to speak out about the messy situation: “[Ariana’s] the story really. Not a girl’s girl. My family is just collateral damage.”
“Someone saying I’m not a girl’s girl would send me into a deep spiral,” a TikTok commenter wrote on a video about the story. “Fr me too. I would cry,” another commented back. This simple accusation of not being a girl’s girl, devoid of any name-calling or colorful language, seemed to pack quite a punch with women.
This got many of us wondering: What does it even mean to be a girl’s girl? How do we know if we’re being one? And more importantly, how can we tell if we’re not being one?
What Exactly Is a Girl’s Girl?
Does being a girl’s girl just mean you have oodles of gal pals? That you’re popular with fellow women? That you exclusively have female friends? No, not exactly.
TikToker @elliemaegrady (1.3M+ followers) explained the concept of a girl’s girl like this: “Like, if I see you in public and I don’t know you and you’ve got a big chunk of asparagus in your teeth or something, I will tell you. I won’t sit there and laugh at you. If you look really nice and I can tell you’re feeling yourself – you’ve got a nice dress or nice makeup on – I will tell you because I want to make you feel happy … I just don’t understand some girls’ behavior, like, why would you ever want to be mean or make someone else feel uncomfortable or sad?”
From this explanation, it seems that being a girl’s girl means to act as a safe and supportive person for other women, to strive to make fellow women feel comfortable with you. It’s not about the number of friends you have, but how you make the women who are in your life feel about themselves. If you make them feel good, you’re a girl’s girl. If you don’t, then you’re not.
Still wondering how you can tell if you’re a girl’s girl? Here are four qualities that a girl’s girl has.
A Girl’s Girl Doesn’t Dislike Another Woman for Being Successful or Happy
We’ve all known a girl (or maybe we’ve been that girl) who seems to dislike every single woman who’s doing something with her life, whether it’s starting her own business or starting a family with a good man. And when probed about why she dislikes them, she fails to offer a solid reason that would merit the disdain she has for them.
A girl’s girl doesn’t dislike another woman for the sin of having a nice life, or being successful, or finding happiness. A girl’s girl is genuinely glad for another woman’s prosperity because she doesn’t see the other woman’s happiness as being a threat to her own chance at a bright future.
A Girl’s Girl Doesn’t Dunk on Other Women
You know that girl who refers to herself as one of the guys? Who openly talks about not having any girl friends because “women are too much drama”? Who furthers sexist tropes like women being overly emotional and inferior to men? She’s pretty much the opposite of a girl’s girl.
This isn’t to say that a girl’s girl is untruthful about women’s shortcomings. She’s honest about where women can grow and upfront about the weaknesses she sees in other women. But this comes from a place of desiring to challenge women to be better, not to separate herself as being “not like other girls.”
The girl’s girl doesn’t dunk on women as a whole. She doesn’t harbor hatred or resentment for other women. She doesn’t want to be “different” from other women. She loves being a woman and loves other women.
A Girl’s Girl Wants To Build Women Up
What goes hand-in-hand with dunking on other women? Tearing them down, whether by giving her a back-handed compliment about how lucky she is to be flat-chested, or by withholding any kind of positive affirmation from a close friend.
The girl who’s always complaining about other women, whom you can count on to say something snarky and pessimistic, who apparently never learned to not say anything at all if she wasn’t going to say something kind, who can bring the mood down like no one else, is definitely not a girl’s girl.
A girl’s girl wants nothing more than for other women to feel comfortable around her, to feel better about themselves when she’s around. She encourages other women, builds them up, and offers them thoughtful advice and kind words. A girl’s girl looks for something good and kind to say. She hands out compliments like candy, and her compliments make you feel so good about yourself. She considers how her words and actions affect other people. She’s a source of positivity for the people around her.
A Girl’s Girl Respects Boundaries
Texting your ex behind your back just a month after the breakup? Taking a guy you used to date up on his invitation to go out with him without talking to you first? Suddenly going after a guy immediately after you expressed interest in him? That’s not what a girl’s girl does.
A girl’s girl respects the boundaries, whether or not they’re explicitly stated, of the women she knows. She doesn’t get involved with exes or old flames, or race to get the attention of your crush. She values her relationships with the women in her life over the potential relationship she might have with a guy.
It’s safe to say that many of us haven’t always been a girl’s girl. Maybe you’ve struggled with jealousy and comparison, or you can remember a time you (possibly intentionally?) made another girl feel bad about herself to make yourself feel better. Being a girl’s girl is a learning process for many of us, but it’s something we should all strive to become.
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